Hawks fans: Will Rick Sund rock the boat?

According to NBA.com, a little over 6 days and 14 hours remains before the NBA deadline is up. Normally, most Atlanta fans would half-heartedly lament the lack of rumors surrounding the Hawks, or talk of unrealistic trade proposals. Not this year. Since when is a winning record and a mere 1 game out of 4th place in the East cause for such alarm? Since when does a guaranteed playoff spot leave such feelings of gloom and doom?

Do we as Hawks fans not appreciate the team’s 34 victories in 55 tries? Or is it something else?

 

Good teams do this, Good teams do that…

It has gotten to the point where nearly every Atlanta win comes with a handful of caveats. Well, at least if you’re reading the blogs and what not. But it’s not just local fans and media. It’s everywhere. Why? It’s now just about who you beat. It’s also about who you don’t beat. The Hawks may have a better road record this season, but they are 6-13 against teams with winning records. Needless to say (and I’m going to say it anyway), this does not bode well for the postseason. Good teams compete well against other good teams. The Hawks have not done that this season, for the large part. Good teams find a way to overcome injuries to regular rotation players. The Hawks have done that this season. Good teams know their identity and their gameplan. The Hawks act like they can only remember this for a game at a time, and sometimes only for a quarter at a time. Are the Hawks a good team, or simply one with a winning record? Like all things, this is debatable. But it’s going to be hard to argue 6-13. It’s just not what good teams do.

Rumors

As usual, there isn’t much going on out there about the Hawks and who they might like to acquire. The lone bit of noise being made has to do with alleged interest in Cleveland Cavaliers guard Ramon Sessions. It’s hard to see how Sessions would make the Hawks instant or even eventual Eastern Conference Championship contenders, and adding him is a subject of some debate as well. While some stat experts can show that Sessions has issues on defense, could he really be worse than Mike Bibby or Jamal Crawford? Interestingly enough, there isn’t much being said about his offense, which certainly has its moments. The Hawks aren’t likely to get better at the point guard position through trade or free agency, but maybe that’s not the bandaid they should reach for right now. Maybe they should focus on having a guy who can drive the ball to the basket, find his teammates when the defense collapses, and shoot from where he knows how to shoot. Is it the total package? No, certainly not. But with Bibby’s lack of penetration and Jamal’s lack of “makes his teammates better”, maybe the Hawks should settle for solving one problem instead of continuing to strike out on two of them. Is Sessions worth the pursuit? Can the Hawks do better? What do YOU think?

Rock the boat, don’t rock the boat

The only thing worse than a dejected fan is an apathetic fan. If Hawks management and ownership can’t see this, then they are blind, deaf, and dumb. But that’s precisely what is happening. Gone is the team that defended home court with a zeal not easily matched last season. In it’s place is the same guys, but the passion appears to be missing. Larry Drew says the team has become too comfortable. Is he not part of this comfort level? General manager Rick Sund needs to rock the boat. He needs to rock it hard enough that the occupants think it’s going to capsize and begin holding on for dear life. But, this is not Sund’s way. The problem is that the entire organization seems quite well lulled to sleep. Even the finger pointing has all but stopped (sans Al Horford’s recent post game comments about not getting the ball enough). Perhaps nothing is worse than having one of your team captains say that everything is alright, when so many things clearly are NOT alright. Don’t tell Drew, but I think some of the players (too many of them) are still drinking the koolaid. Things only get worse after the all-star break. The Hawks only managed to sustain a single winning streak of longer than 3 games this season, and the schedule has been rather favorable. What are they going to do against all these winning teams that are coming up?

Time to rock the boat, Rick Sund. The occupants are mostly asleep, and the ship’s captain looks like he’s contemplating abdication.

So will the Hawks stand pat once more? Will they make any move of significance? Does anybody in the front office even care? We’ll know soon enough.

 

 

By Big Ray, Hawks Fan Nest

235 comments Add your comment

Najeh Davenpoop

February 18th, 2011
9:24 pm

Smoove for Monta Ellis made me laugh out loud. Yeah, a trigger-happy, no-defense-playing, undersized SG is exactly what this team needs to go to the next level.

Najeh Davenpoop

February 18th, 2011
9:25 pm

Considering the title of this blog, posting this is obligatory.

Dept. of Unintended Irony

February 18th, 2011
9:33 pm

“I must say, ALL of you guys have made valet points. ”

Therefore, next time I’ll park your cars for free.

BigdaddyJ

February 18th, 2011
9:47 pm

Please sell the Hawks and keep the Thrashers!

Man Man

February 18th, 2011
9:47 pm

What does teague do better than bibby?because he sholl can’t shoot,he doesn’t have any “LOCK DOWN” defense either.So how does starting teague make this team better?Have you saw teague when he has got atleast 18 minutes of playing time?PPG will go down as a team if we start teague.Hes just not the answer.He doesn’t have that killer instinct in him and it makes me mad when he gets on the floor and make silly mistakes.Damn bibby don’t turn the ball over.Be careful what you wish for.

Rufus1

February 18th, 2011
10:04 pm

How little we need from the PG….

The 1st problem was not using the early part of the season to start Teague when you had the leeway from management. If you didn’t think he could do the job, he would have proved that thru his play. Now we have NO PG of any value on the team.

We don’t need as much as people think from the PG…… We need a player who can play reasonable defense, create any easy shots at the basket and the fear of SPEED. We are games with the WORST PG siyuation in the league, SO HOW MUCH DO WE REALLY NEED FROM THAT POSITION.

The Hawks are a team built on being GOOD at every position(not great), they can’t offset a liability like Bibby unless someone has a great performance. If every player does their job against a good team, we lose. Bibby would have to get 10ast a game, while attacking the basket to offset his defense. He

Teague’s benefit. ..
SPEED.. His speed on the break would get the Hawks 4 to 6pts a game on the break.
QUICKNESS… He would be one of the top players in the league in steals..
ATHLETICISM… He is as athletic as Josh, but at the PG
REBOUNDING… our rebounding would improve because he could chase down more balls.
YOUTH…. Boundless energy
PERIMETER ‘D”…His recovery speed
JOE… would nolonger get worn down from guarding those PG… he would be fresh in the fourth.
Bibby… would have fresh legs to shot his 3pt shots….I believe he would shot 50%…and get 8pts in 15 to 20min
Jamal… Jamal could be Jamal or be traded for a center that can finish around the rim.

These are the reasons I want Teague and some of the reasons I support the Sessions trade.

We are at the Elite door…Those other teams are 2 or 3 plays a game better than we are with Bibby at the helm. WE JUST NEED A LITTLE SOMETHING EXTRA TO KICK THE DOOR IN.

Rufus1

February 18th, 2011
10:10 pm

Bibby’s AST

He get 2 kind of ast…

1) Pick and Pop with Al
2) Back door Josh

Melvin

February 18th, 2011
11:38 pm

When was the last time the Hawks had a player in the rookie-sophmore game? The Spurs has the best record in the league and have two rotational players playing in the game….

O'Brien

February 18th, 2011
11:45 pm

If I’m Melo, I would not sign with the Nets. By giving up 4 first round picks, they will be unable to acquire cheap talent in the future.

Even if they get Chauncey, he will either request a buyout, or decline his option next year and become a FA (imo). So who becomes the Nets PG then? And Brook Lopez is good, but he is not a dominant player.

Plus how many big name FA will want to sign with NJ/Brooklyn?

At least in NY he already has Amare, and CP3 will try and make his way there in 2 years. I think Anthony finds a way to get the Knicks to do whatever it takes to make a deal, so he can sign an extension with them.

O'Brien

February 18th, 2011
11:48 pm

Melvin,

The Hawks are trying to win 50 games, so they dont have the time to develop young talent.

Real talk though, the bottom line is the Spurs have an eye for talent, and their coach knows how to coach that talent.

If Shelden was drafted by the Spurs, he would probably be their starting PF by now (instead of possibly being traded to team number 7 in 5 years). The Spurs are that good :smile:

Big Ray

February 18th, 2011
11:56 pm

Ain’t That the Truth, Ruth

February 18th, 2011
3:07 am
“Drinking the Cool-Aid” means the opposite of how you’ve used it. If the Hawks are drinking the Cool-Aid, as you say, then that means they ARE in fact buying into Drew’s program.

I did not know there was a strict universal rule on what “drinking the cool-aid” means. Either way, how I meant it and how you took it are two different things, and that’s cool….

However……

Superiorblogman caught the meaning right away! :)

Big Ray

February 18th, 2011
11:57 pm

Dept. of Unintended Irony

February 18th, 2011
9:33 pm
“I must say, ALL of you guys have made valet points. ”

Therefore, next time I’ll park your cars for free.

I LOVE this guy, whoever he is. Too funny :lol: :lol: :lol:

Big Ray

February 19th, 2011
12:02 am

E43 ,

Actually, I can appreciate the Hawks’ position at that time than you think I can. The problem, as eloquently stated by others, was that nobody saw Sheldon as nearly good enough to pick as high as 5th. If Billy Knight was absolutely fixated on taking him, he could have traded down and gotten more assets in the process.

If he was fixated on keeping the 5th pick, he should have picked a far more desirable asset. Let’s say he takes Brandon Roy instead of Sheldon. At this point, he could have traded the rights to Roy if he wanted, and gotten another player, plus probably another pick (or something to that effect). Or, he could have kept Roy. Imagine if we had drafted and kept Roy. After watching him do his thing (to the team’s benefit) for a year or two, we could have traded Roy off for something of value, that actually fit and helped the team.

Instead, we took Sheldon (who nobody wanted all that badly). What value did Sheldon end up having? If you don’t remember, let me refresh you: he was one fourth of a contingent of sorry players that we traded to Sacramento for one Mike Bibby….a guy that most fans are complaining about even as we speak.

Asset management my friend, asset management.

doc

February 19th, 2011
12:02 am

agree manny t agree whole heartedly especially with the summer summary. stsnd pat and stand down for hawks fans.

Hawks Fan In New Orleans

February 19th, 2011
12:11 am

@ Ken, I agree. We definitely don’t need another Duck out there. But there has to be wisdom to the assertiveness – shot selection is breaking this team and just because we don’t have a true facilitator on the floor does not mean Smoove can’t be more tactful when he has the rock. Wish he was more like Blake Griffin than Big Dog

Big Ray

February 19th, 2011
12:11 am

AJ ,

Yeah, I heard Rose put up 42 against the Spurs….

Big Ray

February 19th, 2011
12:13 am

Hawks Fan In New Orleans ,

At least Big Dog Glenn Robinson hit more of those shots, and averaged 20 and 10. If J-Smoove averaged that, we’d be complaining a lot less….

Meanwhile, Derrick Rose continues to show why you pick the dynamic pg in the draft over the swing player with incredible potential (Michael Beasley). Any questions?

Najeh Davenpoop

February 19th, 2011
12:50 am

“At least Big Dog Glenn Robinson hit more of those shots, and averaged 20 and 10.”

Big Dog averaged 6 boards per game for his career and never broke 7 boards per game in a season. I really hope y’all are not trying to imply that Big Dog was better than Smoove. Aside from his jumper, he was below average at everything else. Probably one of my three least favorite Hawks ever. One really infuriating player to watch, at least while he was in a Hawk uniform.

no mo

February 19th, 2011
6:57 am

another mediocre hawks team, with a bunch of overpaid, worthless players, bad coach, run by a bunch of morons. Sell the team or move it out of town. I’m tired of watching these losers. they’ll go out in round 1, while still collecting millions from the chumps that pay for this “entertainment.”

yodaddy

February 19th, 2011
8:01 am

So to get Ramon Sessions,,,,we would have to give up MO Evans and Jeff Teague???? Man do that deal yesterday

yodaddy

February 19th, 2011
8:19 am

I would accept a trade for Ramon Sessions (if that’s all we can get but anything to get rid of Mo Evans should be seen as a plus).

OR

a lineup change which moves Teague to the starter and Bibby to the bench. Roll The dice

Melvin

February 19th, 2011
9:22 am

Marvin Williams(notes), F, Atlanta Hawks: Two NBA general managers said the Hawks are shopping Williams. Williams, however, has $16.8 million guaranteed through next season and a team option of $8.8 million for the 2012-13 season. – Yahoo Sports

clo

February 19th, 2011
10:05 am

Go for something real. Steve Nash for Bibby, Marvin Williams, and a 2nd rounder. We need a pusher. Jeff Teague will blossom more under Nash and we will finally compete in the second round for a change.

O'Brien

February 19th, 2011
10:07 am

Melvin,

I saw that report too. But according to hoopshype, the 2012-2013 season for Marvin is $7.5 mil, and it’s a player option, not a team option.

If that’s the case, Rick negotiated a contract with Marvin without letting him test the market, and he gives him a 5th year as a player option? SMH

O'Brien

February 19th, 2011
10:10 am

Currently, the Knicks are 5 games behind the Hawks in the loss column, and we have a 5 game road trip, along with a tough home schedule.

If the Knicks gut their team, they will still have a big 3 of Carmelo, Amare, and Chauncey. And depending on which veterans get bought out, NY becomes a very desirable destination.

Assuming we dont make a move, can we hold them off for the 5th spot?

NEW CARS

February 19th, 2011
10:13 am

Where the ball was dropped with this team, ignoring the confused drafts. was the selection of Larry Drew to coach the team. I have nothing against him, but this was a time for a change of culture and a time to bring in a respected coach that could corral the team. We might as well have kept Woodson as to keep his assistant. We needed Batman for the job instead of replacing the Green Hornet with Kato.
Once we made that move, I lost any

O'Brien

February 19th, 2011
10:18 am

Al horford interview on hoopshype.

In which aspects do you feel you’re a better player compared to last year?

AH: “I’m more aggressive offensively. This year’s coach is giving me more freedom to go out and play and that has helped me a lot.”.

Are you happier with Larry Drew than with Mike Woodson?

AH: No, I liked Woodson, you know? It all comes down to my maturation process as a player and being able to fit better with the rest of the team..

How have the Atlanta Hawks changed as a team with this new coach?

AH: Well, I think we’re a little bit more organized as a team. We had more of a free wheeling system. Now we’re more organized..

What’s your take on the point guard position? Seems like the team is searching for help there. Mike Bibby maybe is a little old, Jeff Teague maybe is too young… Is that the team’s weakest spot?

AH: Well, I think Bibby is doing a good job, although it’s clear that in the future we’re going to need another person. We don’t know for how long he’s going to be able to keep it up.”.

http://blogs.hoopshype.com/blogs/sierra/2011/02/18/al-horford-playing-overseas-theres-a-chance/

Despite the more organized system though, we still have a lot of scoring droughts.

O'Brien

February 19th, 2011
10:19 am

BTW, That was me who added the scoring droughts comments. not Al…

Ken Strickland

February 19th, 2011
10:31 am

I think the Hawk(ASG)are looking towards the future rather than the present, with their emphasis being on a new CBA. Therefore, they’re far more interested in using these expiring contracts to lose salary, rather than trading them and adding contracts that extend beyond the current CBA. With all of the uncertainty surrounding a new CBA, and the likelihood of a reduction in both CAPS, reducing their salary committments is their primary focus.

They’ll lose approximately $4.2M from the combined expiring contracts of JCollins, EThomas, JPowell and DWilkins. They’ll also lose another $13.3M from the combined expiring contracts of MEvans($2.5M) and JaCrawford($10.8M), along with the $3.63M trade exception, if they choose not to use it. That’s a reduction of over $21M, which puts the Hawks $21M under the current luxury tax cap and about $9M under the current salary cap.

They know there’s no player that they can acquire at the trade deadline that would get the team into the NBA finals. So, I believe they’ll focus on next season and the new CBA.

Rod Johnson

February 19th, 2011
10:38 am

Simply put…the Hawks organization is a mess. There is not STAR power on this team. They have a bunch of overpriced players that would be getting mid-level pay on any other team. Joe Johnson = $120 Million? Someone on the leadership team lacks the ability to run this organization. We all thought that Belkin was off his rockers, but we have found out that Belkin was right the whole time. #needtogetsmarter

Steven A.

February 19th, 2011
10:42 am

Where is A. I.?
Allen Iverson would be a perfect fit for the Atlanta Hawks right now. It would be much easier to move
Jamal Crawford for any draft pick and available BIG.

Ken Strickland

February 19th, 2011
11:03 am

Here’s a trade proposal that was posted a couple of wks ago that would give the Hawks everything they needed.

GOLDEN STATE would send us C’s ABiedrins/DGadzuric, SG CBell and PG SCurry($23.61M).
We would send them C’s ZPachulia/EThomas, PF JSmith, PG MBibby, and a draft pick($22.37M).
This trade, if we could pull it off, would give us the PG we so desperately need, along with a starting quality(ABiedrins) center and backup(DGadzuric). It would also allow us to retain the expiring contracts and services of JaCrawford, MEvans, JCollins, JPowell and DWilkins, and DGadzuric’s $7.25M contract would also be expiring.

Those remaining expiring contracts would put us about $20M below the current luxury cap, about $9M below the salary cap, and we’d have everything we needed as far as PG, C and PF are concerned. This would address the ASG financial concerns and make the Hawks a true elite title contending team.

Steven A.

February 19th, 2011
11:12 am

Anyone, and I mean ANYONE, suggesting you trade Josh Smith is simply “OUT OF THEIR MINDS”
People in the blog suggesting moving Smith must have been hanging out with Bobby Brown or Willie Nelson. Josh Smith is “quite frankley” the MVP of the Atlanta Hawks. He is their only untradeable
asset.

niremetal

February 19th, 2011
11:27 am

O’B,

The risk with Marvin wasn’t that he’d “test the market” and find a better deal in ‘09. It was that he’d accept the qualifying offer and walk for nothing the next summer. Considering that we were already facing a similar prospect with Chills (and Marvin mighta gone his route too), it would not have been wise for us to have him go out there and “test the market” too much.

We paid him a click or two above the MLE, just a tad bit more than what we reportedly offered Chills. I really, truly do not know why people think the contracts given to him, Zaza, and Bibby are so bad. Centers far worse and far older than Zaza make far more than $4.5M/yr (if you compare per-minute production to salary, Zaza is among the better value backup centers in the league, even as much as he’s fallen off), $7.5M a year is not at all overpriced for a 10/5/good defender on a playoff team, and $6M/yr through the age of 34 is not overpriced for a veteran borderline starter at PG.

Bill

February 19th, 2011
12:15 pm

I believe the Hawks will stand pat. I would trade Crawford if they can get any value back.

My only trade thought was to get Mark Gasol from Memphis for Williams, Crawford, & ZaZa (may have to take someone else to make the salaries work). Gasol is a true big and we can move Al to PF, Josh to 3.

As far as a guard I think we may have to pick up someone who’s contract is up at the end of the year.

The Truth

February 19th, 2011
12:56 pm

The Hawks will never be winners until they can A) succeed in the draft (Horford was anomaly) and B) avoid paying the c-list players like Joe Johnson difference-maker money. Joe’s a solid player, however, he’s not a front-line, marquee player.

The Truth

February 19th, 2011
12:59 pm

Steven A – you’ve lost your mind. Josh Smith is the most overrated player in the NBA. Sure, he can slash to the rim with the best of them, but he never fails to go away from what is working and start heaving up bricks from outside. The kid is a head-case. If someone is willing to take him, I say let him go.

SPUD WEBB

February 19th, 2011
1:17 pm

HOW ABOUT WE TRADE JEFF TEAGUE AND MARVIN WILLIAMS TO WASHINGTON FOR KIRK HINRICH AND CARTIER MARTIN.

O'Brien

February 19th, 2011
1:57 pm

Ken S,

Remember that Horford’s current contract ($5.4 mil) increases to $12 mil, Marvin’s contract goes up from $6.7 mil to $7.5 mil, and JJ, Teague, Josh and ZaZa all get raises next year.

nire,

I was ok with ZaZa’s contract.

I was ok with the $6 mil annual salary given to Bibby. What I didn’t like about his deal is the 3rd year was guaranteed. i think it should have been a team option.

One other team (reportedly) that had interest in Bibby was Philly, and they did not want to give him 3 years (they didnt want to give Andre Miller 3 years either). I would have even preferred to give him an extra $1 mil per year for that option, which is similar to what Andre Miller got from Portland. 3 years, $22 mil, but 3rd year is a team option.

I did not like the Marvin contract at all.

In ‘06-’07, Marvin was injured and only played in 64 games. In ‘08-’09 Marvin was injured, and only played in 61 games. Would he want to take the risk of signing a 1 year QO, when he basically missed 20 games in 2 of his last 3 seasons? I know its a risk, but Marvin would have had more to lose (imo).

Also, one year earlier, Rick allowed Josh (who was much more valuable) to test the market. Why not let marvin test the market as well? And if he decides to sign the QO, they could still try and work out an extension before he hit free agency.

How many teams were going to have the cap space the following year to offer Marvin 5 years, $37.5 mil? And of the teams who had the cap space, how many of them needed a starting SF? We dont know all the answers, but I think Rick was in a position of strength at the bargaining table.

And then to top it off, his 5th year is a player option? I know Marvin is solid, but he plays SF, which is one of the easier positions to fill in the NBA. So at the very least, I think the 5th year should have been a team option.

Obviously, I’m not a GM, so I dont know what topics were discussed in the meetings, but I just think Rick had the better cards at the table, and he played it very conservatively, when he could have done better.

forget the hawks

February 19th, 2011
2:20 pm

until ASG relinquishes ownership, the Hawks are no threat to win any division. Nor are they a threat to
win any playoff series beyond the first. I think the real problems with the Hawks start with ASG and trickle down from there. Face it, the ownership mess is the laughingstock of professional sports in North America.

dirty

February 19th, 2011
2:26 pm

I’ve said it before and I’m gonna say it again. Trade for Devin Harris or Mo Williams, J.R. Smith and Nene or Gortat and Petitrus. Bibby and 1st rnd pick for Mo Williams or Harris, then trade Mo Evans, Williams and 2012 1st rnd pick for J.R. Smith and Nene or Gortat and Petitrus
C- Nene or Gortat
PF – Horford
SF – Smith
SG – Johnson
PG – Mo Williams or Harris
Bench
C- Collins/Zaza
PF – Zaza
SF – Petitrus or J.R. Smith….Pape Sy
SG – Ja.Crawford/Jo.Crawford
PG – Teague

I think this team could beat any team in the East, cause when our starters go out or strugglin you’ll have players on the bench that can step in. hawks don’t develope their picks anyway so why not trade them away. Imagine if last yr we would of traded Teague or Bibby and our 1st rnd pick for Harris or Mo Evans…we wouldn’t be talking about we need a PG

Steven A.

February 19th, 2011
2:47 pm

The Truth—Please go to espn.go.com/NBA/Hawks–see Josh Smith
PPG RPG BLKPG PER
16.7 8.8 1.7 19.28
Plus intangibles, steals, impact plays. No other palyer on the Hawks can effect the game in so
many ways. I accept your apology.

superiorblogman

February 19th, 2011
4:24 pm

Just say No to Sessions. Get Devin Harris or Steve Nash or just stand pat. It’s funny how Sund claims he does not want lateral movement and we here about them going after a former D-League player and maybe giving up 1st round talent. This franchise is lost and Sund is a huge reason why. Say No Sessions.

Rod Johnson

February 19th, 2011
4:27 pm

Josh Smith MVP? WHAT? (in my Steve Austin 3:16 voice) It’s easy to be that on a subpar TEAM!

O'Brien

February 19th, 2011
5:03 pm

From a nytimes.com blog;

Carmelo Anthony is informing those close to him that he will not sign a contract extension if he is traded to the Nets, according to a person aware of Anthony’s preference.

But the Nets are unlikely to agree to trade for Anthony without the assurance that he would sign an extension. On Saturday, a spokeswoman for Mikhail D. Prokhorov, the Nets’ majority owner, said that he had no plans to meet with Anthony while in Los Angeles for the All-Star Game, according to The Associated Press.

“Mikhail has not met with and has no plans to meet with Carmelo Anthony,” the spokeswoman, Ellen Pinchuk, said in the statement..

Either way, I just want the trade to be over so other teams can start wheeling and dealing.

Najeh Davenpoop

February 19th, 2011
6:20 pm

“I really, truly do not know why people think the contracts given to him, Zaza, and Bibby are so bad. ”

My major beef with Marvin’s contract is not that they paid him too much or that he hasn’t improved since signing that deal (which are both true), but that they told Smoove to go get his own deal as a restricted free agent the previous year (resulting in a very palatable contract) and then turned around and bid against themselves while signing Marvin. Why not use the same negotiating tactic with Marvin, when it was so successful with Smoove? If the Hawks could run the risk of Smoove leaving, when Smoove’s value to the Hawks is and has always been significantly than Marvin’s, why couldn’t they run the same risk with Marvin? Worst case scenario would have been that Marvin just signed the QO, and even if that were the case the Hawks would have had a full season to either trade him or negotiate an extension.

And also, there certainly were small forwards signed that offseason (Trevor Ariza, Ron Artest, Matt Barnes) for lower annual salaries who met or exceeded Marvin’s impact and per-minute production, and a creative GM could have found a way to either trade him for a piece or multiple pieces that would improve the team overall. With that said, it’s fair to say Marvin’s annual salary is not that exorbitant; in my opinion, the years on his deal are what really make his contract an albatross, and there’s a good chance that if he had been asked to find his own deal he would have signed for either fewer years or a lower annual salary.

In any case, Marvin’s contract is the most defensible of the three. Marvin hasn’t gotten any worse since signing the deal; Bibby and especially Zaza have. As northcyde likes to point out, Andre Miller signed that offseason for two years and a team option for a third year, while Bibby was given a guaranteed third year. Granted, Miller signed for a higher average salary, but he has produced at a much higher level over the last two years than Bibby despite having some initial problems fitting into Portland’s offense. If bumping Bibby’s annual salary up by $1 million or so would have allowed the Hawks to not guarantee his third year, that would have been a smart thing to do. Again, it’s not so much the annual salary that’s the problem with him as the years. Sund should have seen his decline coming (which presumably he did since he hesitated to guarantee that third year) and accordingly tried to avoid giving him that third year.

Finally we come to Zaza, whose contract is the worst and most untradeable of the three. There are less than 10 big men in the NBA who get regular playing time and have a lower eFG% than Zaza this year. He has gotten worse at the one thing he has ever done well — rebounding — and much of his rebound rate comes from getting his own egregious misses anyway. Jason Collins gets paid a minimum salary and has played better defense and made fewer mistakes than him this year. Only six big men in the league have played over 500 minutes this year and have higher turnover rates. He is 298th in PER, 215th in true shooting percentage, 364th in eFG%, and 202nd in win shares. If you assume that the typical team has an 8 man rotation (meaning that there are about 240 players who play regular minutes), those ranks would imply that Zaza is a fringe rotation player for an average team, let alone a playoff team. Why any GM would feel the need to lock up a player of that caliber for four years at any rate is mind-boggling, let alone at $4.5 million per year. Chris Wilcox signed that summer for $3 million per year over 3 years. Rasho Nesterovic signed for 1/4 of Zaza’s annual salary. Ryan Hollins signed for half that much and only two years. Don’t get me wrong, all three of those players are unquestionably scrubs, but each one meets or exceeds Zaza in every traditional stat per minute and in every advanced stat category and signed for less annual money and fewer years. Zaza’s contract is absolutely indefensible in every way, shape, and form, and quite honestly I’m not sure every 6′11″ D-Leaguer couldn’t come in here at a minimum salary and do what he does.

Najeh Davenpoop

February 19th, 2011
6:22 pm

Really, if you’re not going to play a guy for more than 20 minutes a game, I don’t see why he should get more than a one or two-year deal, especially when you are unwilling to exceed the luxury tax threshold.

Big Ray

February 19th, 2011
7:44 pm

Big Ray

February 19th, 2011
7:50 pm

Big Dog averaged 6 boards per game for his career and never broke 7 boards per game in a season. I really hope y’all are not trying to imply that Big Dog was better than Smoove. Aside from his jumper, he was below average at everything else. Probably one of my three least favorite Hawks ever. One really infuriating player to watch, at least while he was in a Hawk uniform.

You’re right about the rebounds, shoulda done my homework. As for the rest of it, who is “y’all?” I never said or even implied Robinson was better than Smoove. He’s a better shooter/scorer when it comes to a perimeter game, and he’s a career 20 ppg guy. That’s it. I don’t miss the guy, and I don’t feel like he and “Smoove” even played the same position. When I saw Glenn, I saw a SF. When I see Smith, I see a PF.

As for infuriating, I find Smith to be quite a bit infuriating in his own right. This is coming from a long time Smith fan who is not interested in arguing about who the most infuriating Hawks player is in history.

Big Ray

February 19th, 2011
7:55 pm

Najeh ,

Your 6:20 p.m. post was pretty dang strong. Some very good points, and I’d be interested in seeing any intelligent rebuttals to it, especially from any and all who felt the center position was in just fine and dandy shape with Collins/Zaza/Thomas as the backups to a an all-star who already was leaning away from the center position (and this hasn’t even come to a head yet…which I believe it will).